The LIV Golf’s “propaganda” lobbying efforts were not well received by some Republicans

It appears that Greg Norman’s lobbying efforts for LIV Golf are not going well.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Ten) is said to have called Norman’s lunch with Republican Study Committee members on Wednesday “propaganda” and said the House should not spend its time with an association backed by the government of Saudi Arabia.

Why does LIV compress?

Norman Burchett, Representative Jim Jordan (R-India) and other members of the RSC met to try to sway their sentiments on the Department of Justice’s PGA Tour investigation of potential antitrust violations against LIV. The Department of Justice is reportedly looking to determine whether the PGA Tour has engaged in anti-competitive behavior to prevent golfers from playing in the rival league. The tour rejected these allegations.

LIV brought in a lot of famous golf stars and the PGA responded by banning all players leaving the tour. Phil Mickelson and other LIV golfers have since filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA, but that won’t see a trial until 2024.

LIV hired lobbying firm Hobart Hallaway & Quayle Venture in late August to assist with “education and issues related to professional golf in the United States and abroad” and “[p]Rotating the rights of professional golfers to play when and where they choose,” according to the official filing. That pressure appears to have started this week when a league spokesperson said in a statement, “LIV Golf is coming to Hill this week to meet with lawmakers from both parties.”

“Given the PGA Tour attempts to stifle our progress in reimagining the game, we believe it is necessary to educate members about the LIV business model and counteract the Tour’s anti-competitive efforts.”

Norman He is said to have already met with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)the only Democrat so far to speak with the CEO of LIV this week.

Liv can’t escape her Saudi backers

Burchett wasn’t the only one who wasn’t interested in Norman style. Fellow Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), also a member of the RSC, called on the Department of Justice to investigate possible LIV violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act for not registering its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“At this point, there is nothing wrong with the origin and purpose of the LIV Golf,” Representative Roy wrote in a statement to Attorney General Merrick Garlanden in July. “Saudi Arabia is funneling money through the Public Investment Fund (PIF) to stand on LIV Golf as a PR exercise. In other words, foreign government dollars are being used to promote that government’s brand and standing here in the United States.

“…the American people deserve to know the depth and breadth of Saudi Arabia’s unprecedented public relations and political activities through its LIV Golf.”

What Roy effectively refers to is sports washing – a term that basically means that Saudi Arabia is trying to cover up its countless human rights abuses through extravagant sporting events. The government has already invested billions of dollars in rival golf leagues and lured some of the biggest stars with six-figure paychecks before they even went on a course.

As Burchett mentioned in his first tweet, Saudi Arabia has recently become infamous for its involvement in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mickelson – the league’s most prominent golfer – even admitted that he understood the “scary” business partners who were paying him millions of dollars and the atrocities of the Saudi government. But that didn’t stop Mickelson or others from taking the money.

LIV has just concluded its fifth tournament of the year in Chicago. It has yet to secure a major streaming platform other than Facebook Live, YouTube, DAZN, and a few international outlets.

LIV Golf’s lobbying efforts have so far failed. (Jimmy Sabao-USA Today Sports)

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